The tenancy conditions you sign at the start of your tenancy mean that by law, you must pay your rent regularly and not get into arrears. It is your responsibility to keep your rent account up to date.
If you get into arrears – Don't ignore it!
The most important thing is to make contact with the Rents Section on 01495 235600 immediately for advice before the debt gets too large for you to deal with. If you do not contact us, we will contact you either in writing or by phone.
You need to pay the arrears as quickly as possible, ideally in one payment, to clear the whole amount
We will always be sympathetic to our tenants' problems and generally an agreement to clear the debt can be made. We will tell you how to make a claim for housing benefit and also give you information about counselling services such as the Citizens Advice Bureau.
We also offer a free confidential advice and support service with an independent debt and money advisor for anyone in rent arrears or likely to get into arrears.
What will the council do if I do not clear my arrears?
We will contact you by phone, letter or visit you at home to discuss your arrears, arrange payment and resolve any other problems.
If this action is not successful we will serve a 'Notice of Seeking Possession'. This is a legal notice telling you that we intend to take legal action if you do not pay your arrears.
If you do not arrange to pay off the arrears, we will apply to the county court for a possession order for the rent you owe. We will tell you, in writing, about all the stages of legal action and what is likely to happen.
We will do all we can to recover rent arrears. We do not want to evict you but will if you do not clear your arrears. Even when you have been evicted, we will try to recover the rent arrears and court costs you built up while you were a tenant.
The chart below shows what steps will be taken if you owe us money for rent:
What should I do if I am waiting for Housing Benefit to be paid?
We will not usually take legal action against you if we know you are waiting for a claim to be sorted out and you are making payments but you should contact us.
Former tenancy rent arrears
When a tenant ends their tenancy they become a former tenant. If you owe us money when your tenancy ends we will contact you to make an agreement to repay the debt. If this fails we will take legal action to get the money owed to us.
To make sure you do not get into rent arrears when you move out, contact us on 01495 235600 and tell us when you intend to move out. We will then tell you how much rent is due to the end of the tenancy.
Our information leaflet entitled, 'Former Tenancy Rent Arrears' is available to download below:
Former Tenancy Rent Arrears (PDF 353kb)
Good reasons not to get into rent arrears
As well as risking being evicted from your home, there are other reasons why you should avoid getting behind with your rent.
- You may have trouble getting credit (including loans or hire purchase) because a possession order will be revealed in a credit enquiry.
- You may not be able to get a mortgage or other loan.
- You will not be allowed to rent a garage.
- You will not be able to buy your home under the right to buy if you break the conditions of a possession order.
- If you are evicted for rent arrears, we will not normally re-house you.